Preparing for College

Preparing For College

There are hundreds of things families can do to cut the cost of college if they just started early enough. The biggest mistake parents make is thinking college is about filling out paperwork. So most start in the Senior Year of High School. 

Once you understand the Process, you realize the paperwork is one of the last steps and you realize by the senior year it is too late and it cost you thousands of dollars in lost assistance.

Start early.

See the time-line of what needs to done each year of the process. Start this in the 8th grade year to be most-successful. Why 8th grade? The courses you take in 8th grade determine the courses you start with in High School and these course early in HS determine whether you will be able to take AP or Honor Courses, which could save you Thousands of Dollars in college costs.

Know what is important.

Without doubt the most important thing in the whole college process is the ACT/SAT Score. This determines not only admissions, but is the key ingredient to getting Merit-Based Aid.

The ACT/SAT score is King because it is the one thing in the process that every family can control. You cannot control how much the colleges cost or raise tuition each year, you cannot control how they calculate your EFC, but you can control the ACT/SAT score by taking the test multiple times and by getting ACT/SAT Tutoring.

Remember they only count the highest score so there is no danger in taking it multiple times. It also is not cost prohibitive, since it costs roughly $31 to take the test , and since they offer it 6 times in the State of Missouri, how many times do you thing you should take the test? 

Answer is every time it is offered. In addition to the actual test, you should be doing Mock ACT and PLAN tests in the Freshman Sophomore year of high school.

Where should I go and what should I be?

That is a common question amongst high school students. Some know quicker than others, but one way to help with this is to do an interest inventory to determine what you student’s interest are and what they would be good at doing with their future.

Once you narrow down what you want to be, then you can start to look at colleges that offer those degrees. Once you have a list of colleges that peek your interests, you start to narrow that list down based on which of those colleges of interest, will give you merit-based aid for your ACT score and need-based aid based upon your families EFC.

Then you can determine which of those colleges allow outside scholarships to be brought to the table. (This is why you need to start this no later than the end of Sophomore beginning of Junior Year.)

Yes amazingly enough, some colleges will take away the aid they were going to give you and replace it with the private money you found in scholarship searches. Thereby leaving you with no more money and a lot of wasted nights surfing the net for scholarships.

Help Me Afford College is here to guide your student through finding schools that are a good match.

The college selection process can be an overwhelming task. Through a series of one-on-one and small group sessions with your student, we take the guesswork out of finding the perfect school. We also help students make sure that their admission applications stand out above the rest.

From start to finish, we ensure that your student is prepared for essays, interviews, and deadlines.

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"Planning, Paying and Preparing for College."